Australia will run out at Etihad Stadium looking to draw the series and drag the Lions to Sydney next weekend for a winner takes all battle at the city’s 80,000 capacity Olympic Stadium.
The 42-cap half-back was in bullish form ahead of the eagerly anticipated rematch, insisting his team will start the match as they finished in Brisbane.
“We want to go there and play footy,” he stated.
“I think we were probably guilty last time of not expressing ourselves and using the strengths we have out wide; guys like Izzy (Folau), probably giving him a bit more ball and with Joe Tomane coming in now and Kurtley Beale at the back we want to look to have a crack. We are not going to leave any stone unturned, we are going out there to play some rugby.”
The Wallabies scrum-half was sublime during his side’s heart-stopping 23-21 loss at Suncorp Stadium, giving a master-class in broken-field running, decision making and positional play.
Much has been made of George North’s gesturing to Genia on the way to the try line after his wondrous solo-effort but the Aussie number nine insists he wasn’t bothered by the giant’s winger’s gamesmanship.
“Mate, I was eating the grass,” he joked.
“I didn’t even see it, I was diving. Look it was a good try; he was just happy and was celebrating. I don’t take too much of that to heart. If I score and I win, I’ll probably point at him.”
Genia was effusive in his praise for the Lions playmaking general Jonathan Sexton; a crucial player to the visitors’ cause today.
“I watched him a bit playing last Saturday. I think he brings a lot of composure,” he said. “He seems very decisive and very thorough with the players.
“I remember one particular moment when he was having a chat to Sam Warburton … and I think he was getting stuck into him because he wasn’t where he was supposed to be.
“He’s got an exceptional kicking game; he very rarely has a bad kick and puts them in good positions.”
Genia cited Christian Leali’ifano’s early withdrawal as a massive blow to the Wallabies game-plan in the first Test. The ACT Brumbies centre was brought into the starting line-up for his distribution and organisation skills as well as first-choice goal-kicker.
“I think Christian was a big loss for us,” he explained.
“Someone like Paddy (Pat McCabe) who came on, he’s played a lot of rugby for the Wallabies but it definitely wasn’t a like for like swap. Paddy’s more of a straight-up running player so losing Christian, we lost the ability to have a second playmaker which allows you to get the ball a little bit wider, so I think having him in there will definitely take the pressure of James a little bit.”
It’s now do-or-die for the Wallabies, and Genia is dead set on taking the series to a final-Test denouement.
“I don’t think we need any more motivation other than the fact that we’re playing against the Lions,” he said. You need to win this to level the series and take it to a decider.”